Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Hidden Wholeness

Being Alone Together - A Community of Solitudes

The Journey Toward An Undivided Life

Welcoming the Soul and Weaving Community in a Wounded World
Parker Palmer

"Let the person who cannot be alone beware of community. Let the person who is not in community beware of being alone." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Simultaneously - we need solitude and community to check and balance what we learn in the other and together they make us whole, like breathing in and breathing out....

Solitude = does not necessarily mean living apart from others, rather, never living apart from one's self. It isn't about the absence of other people - its about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others...

Community = does not necessarily mean living face-to-face with others, rather it means never losing awareness that we are connected to each other - not about the presence of other people, but about being fully open to the reality of relationship, whether or not we are alone...

Space = we can create a space between us that is hospitable to the soul, a community of solitudes where we can be alone together....spaces designed to welcome the soul and support the journey are rare

Community too often means in our culture a group of people who go crashing around the woods together scaring the soul away, from congregations to classrooms we preach and teach, assert and argue, claim and proclaim, admonish, and advise and generally behave in ways that drive everything original and wild into hiding....intellect, emotions, will, ego may emerge but not the soul.

Circle of trust = know how to sit quietly 'in the woods' with each other and wait for the soul to show up....we are not pushy but patient, not confrontational but compassionate, not filled with expectations and demands but with abiding faith in the reality of the inner teacher.

Unconditional love = people who help us grow toward true self neither judge us to be deficient nor try to force us to change, but accept us exactly as we surrounds us with a charged force field that is safe enough to take the risks and endure the failures that growth requires - drawn forward by love into our own best possibilities....

Relationships = in a circle of trust combine unconditional love with hopeful expectancy, creating a space that both safeguards and encourages the inner journey....and we are freed to hear our own truth, touch what brings us joy, become self-critical about our faults, and take risky steps toward change - knowing that we will be accepted no matter what the outcome.....amen.

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